Make Your Aquatic Facility Lean, Green

“Going green” is an effective and responsible way for businesses to manage their impact on the environment; it is also a way to reap long-term profits and boost the bottom line.

Sustainability means cost savings for pool operators. © Can Stock Photo Inc./Paha_L

These choices can result in a healthier facility for employees and patrons, all while making the facility more competitive.

Management can develop a realistic, well-researched strategy to achieve a sustainable facility by taking the proper steps. This begins with taking a true assessment of how energy is being used. Some of the factors include:

 

  • Fuel and water use
  • Effect on the carbon footprint
  • Noise reduction
  • Water conservation
  • Toxicity.

All of this can be achieved by making wise decisions based on sound science and conducting an aquatic energy audit.

The audit requires a visual inspection of the aquatic facility’s current environment, including a review of current energy usages and an examination of equipment. These baseline data support future recommendations for renovation.

Additionally, the audit must assess all the operational systems—filtration, heating appliances, ventilation equipment, pumps and motors, chemical-handling systems, lighting (in the facility and in the pool), and controls.

A review of all current energy costs associated with each part of the facility will provide the tools needed to calculate future energy usages and payback time for any recommended changes to the equipment.

Four Steps To Crafting An Energy Audit

1. Assemble an energy-audit team—including the facility manager, pool operators, and maintenance staff—for a range of insights and views; these will provide a more comprehensive approach to the audit.

2. Collect, organize, and analyze the current energy data. Gather gas, electric, and water bills to show the fossil-fuel costs for the heating appliances as well as the water usage to refill the pool(s) due to bather load, backwashing, cleaning filtration equipment, and overall maintenance work.

3. Make a visual on-site inspection of the structural components of the facility, as well as each existing piece of equipment used in the operations.

4. Analyze the findings and write an action report to outline proposed energy conservations and system improvements.

Your audit team needs to inspect all pool mechanicals. Photo courtesy of National Swimming Pool Foundation

This may seem like an overwhelming task; however, assigning a team to manage and conduct an efficient audit and analysis is necessary and does take time, focus, and commitment.

To get started, have your team locate and collect all of the original construction plans and engineering drawings for the facility, along with any subsequent modifications; obtain manufacturers’ specifications on equipment, pool gallons, turnover rates, as well as energy, gas, fuel, water, and chemical-use invoices.

Visual On-Site Inspection

The visual on-site inspection will require the audit team to inspect all facets of the facility.

The Structure

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